Quatre: I wrote this during a bout of depression a few days ago. I was just venting.

Yami Quatre: This is my hikari's first attempt at actual shonen-ai.

Yami Kenshin: How does angst turn into sap? Is this even sap?

Quatre: How am I supposed to know? I'm not as experienced in this field.

Yami Quatre: Well, let's get onto the fic and see what people think.

Quatre: Right.

Warnings: Shonen-ai, attempted suicide, heavy angst

Pairing: KaixTakao

Disclaimer: This was done purely for fun, well, sort of. I claim no ownership of the characters in use. The only thing that belongs to me is the fic itself.

Why I Need To Go Away

The wind musses my hair as I stand, looking down on the street below me. Stray gusts, stirred up by the passing cars, pull at me, trying to drag me down from my spot on the roof.

Patience, my friend. I'll be there soon enough.

I can hear the cars as they pass by directly beneath me. I smell their exhaust, and it sickens me. I won't miss it. It is a reminder of the human race, of what we are, and what we aren't.

I hate humans as a race. There are individuals I hold deep respect for, but as a race, humans could drop dead and I wouldn't care. They pretend to care for one another as individuals, but in the end, if it comes down to "him or me," most of the time it'll be "me."

I know. I've experienced it before.

There's no one I can turn to. None of my "friends" understand anyway. Even if I knew how to tell them, they'd all think I need a shrink. Which, sadly, is probably the truth.

I know for a fact my friends don't care about me. I've been calling out to them in the only way I know how to, crying out for help, but they haven't heard me. I'm all alone.

Takao acts so happy all the time, it makes me sick. Sometimes I want nothing more than to strangle him, stab him, just get him out of my hair, but in the end I stop myself.

After all, the world needs him. More than it needs me.

So I sat back all the while, watching him, hating him.

And, in the midst of hating him, I find myself loving him.

I yearn for him so deeply that my very soul burns from the pain of knowing that never, in all of my life, will I have the chance to show him how I feel.

I know that if I should tell him, the pain it would cause would be unbearable. I don't want him to be hurt. If he was hurt, I don't know what I'd do.

And the only way to insure his happiness is to remove myself from his life entirely.

That is why I am standing where I am, the ground at least ten floors below me. While it is true that there are other ways for me to remove myself, this is the only one that I can bear. I can't bring myself to live without Takao. He is the only person I have met who has kept me something close to human. Without him, my life simply isn't worth living.

I gaze emotionlessly at the cars speeding below me. I've already left my goodbyes lying on a dresser in my room. The only thing I'm taking with me is Dranzer, my faithful companion who has never willingly left my side. He represents me, in a way: He is the phoenix, eternal fire trapped within the small confines of something that is little more than a spinning top. I too am trapped, confined within this sad excuse for a mortal life.

Everything is ready. There is nothing left for me to do but take that one final step.

So why do I, at the last moment, hesitate?

I tell myself that this is the best course of action for everyone involved. This said, I force myself to ignore the ever-present instinct that keeps me from doing the very thing I do right now. I take the final step.

"Kai! Stop!"

I hear my name, but it's too late. I'm falling forward, towards release from my mortal prison. It's only a few seconds away, and I throw my arms open, embracing it.

Something's encircling my wrist, and suddenly my left arm isn't following my body. There's a searing pain in my shoulder as I fall towards release, but I'm not falling anymore. I'm hanging by my wrist, the last thing keeping me on this mortal plane.

Who is it that denies me my rest?

I look up into concerned brown eyes.

I know those eyes well. They're the eyes that have haunted me dreams since the first time I saw them.

"What on earth do you think you're doing?!" Takao demands in a voice choked by fear and concern. I even detect tears, though none are falling at the moment.

I can't meet his eyes any longer. I look down, towards the place I desire to be.

"Let me go, Takao. This is my choice."

"Why?" Takao wants to know. He reaches into a pocket and pulls out a small square of crumpled paper.

I recognize that paper. I'd left it myself.

He reads from it.


By the time you read this I will be gone. I will not stop you form following your dream. I embrace that dream, but in order for you to reach it you must go ahead without me. It is better for you this way, for you will not have as a hard a time of it as you would with me here. Therefore, I do this for you.

It is only here that I find myself able to acknowledge the feelings I've buried for so long. I only hope that these words are suitable enough as an excuse.

Aishiteru, Takao. I hope you can forgive me. Don't look for me. It won't be long until I'm found again.


"Why?" Takao demands again.

"Because it is true. You're better off without me," I answer quietly. I try wrenching my wrist from his grasp, but my arm won't follow my commands. My shoulder is hurt, how, I can't say. "Let me go," I say.

He doesn't. He drops my note, takes my captured wrist in both hands, and pulls.

I fall, but this time I land. Takao and I tumble to the hard concrete of the rooftop. He ends up on top as we lay there, taking a few minutes to regain our bearings.

He props himself up on his arms, trapping me beneath him.

"We aren't going anywhere until you explain this," he says firmly, retrieving the note and waving it in my face. "I'm glad I understood it in time to get to you, but what did you mean by 'aishiteru?'"

I can't find the words to explain, so I use my good arm to push him off of me. He resists, and the end result is our flipping over, reversing our positions. The movement draws my attention to my injured shoulder as I'm forced to suppress a hiss of pain.

I move to stand. Takao buries his fists in my shirt and refuses to let me leave.

"Did you mean it?" he asks me. "Do you really love me?"

I search his face. I can see curiosity reflected in his eyes, and fear. Is he scared I'll throw myself from the roof, or is he scared of my answer?

Emotions are warring within me as we lay there, the sun beating down on us. The two most prominent within me are the love I feel for the teen below me, my peer, and the need to protect him from me. He'd there, right there beneath me, and I can't stop myself. I've been wanting to do this for so long…

His expression changes quickly to shock as I lean down and brush my lips lightly against his. It's a quick kiss, but enough to convey mountains of emotions. I pull back and wait for his reaction.

He looks dazed. I wonder if that was his first kiss, from either a girl or a boy. I watch him, for once not guarding my expression. My fear is plainly written on my face for all the world to see. Have I caused him to hate me?

"Does that answer your question?" I ask softly after he's silent for a few minutes. A record for him.

That snaps him back to reality. His expression in that moment reminds me of Max's, his eyes wide and vulnerable.

"Th-th-that was-," he sputters, at a loss for words.

"How do you feel now?" I inquire gently.

His mouth opens and closes for a few minutes as he searches for words.

"Confused," he admits finally.

I study his expression, looking for any sign of rejection. It would have taken me by surprise, too, if a friend of mine turned out to be gay.

That train of thought catches me by surprise. Had he considered me a friend, or an acquaintance? How has his opinion changed now?

Takao reaching up and touching my left arm interrupts my thoughts. It's hanging limply beside me, and it's only now that I remember that I injured it.

"We should get that taken care of," he says quietly.

He helps me downstairs in silence. My ankle is twisted, too, probably from when I hit the rooftop. I'm nervous and too preoccupied to hide it. Does he hate me now?

We reach the hospital on foot. We find out that my ankle is just sprained, but my shoulder has been dislocated. The nurse assigned to us goes off to find a doctor to help relocate my shoulder.

We sit on the hospital bed side-by-side. We haven't said anything to each other since we left the rooftop. I'm not even expecting a response in regards to my actions, anymore.

Then, without any sort of warning, Takao reaches up, turns my face towards his, and kisses me.

This is no light brush of our lips. Takao's lips are pressed firmly against my own, and I'm too stunned to react. By the time I recover, he's drawn away again, leaving me confused.

"I'm sorry," he blurts out, turning a deep crimson. "I just- I was- I didn't know how I felt! I had to see what would happen if I- did that," he finishes meekly.

I manage a small grin, hoping to reassure him.

"I- I'm still not sure," he says shakily, managing a weak smile of his own. "Perhaps I'll figure it out, if you'll help me."

My heart leaps, and I give him a genuine smile. The day's events are catching up with me, and I can't stop the wave of exhaustion as it hits me like the proverbial ton of bricks. He catches me as I fall forward, and cradles me gently in his arms as I slip into unconsciousness.

"Thank you," I whisper as the world fades away.

I don't have to hate the human race anymore. Takao's actions today have shown me that we aren't as blind as I believed us to be. I see that our race has a lot of potential.

In my heart I am truly grateful, because if Takao hadn't cared for me, at least as a friend, I would be nothing but a memory right now.

Arigato, Takao Kinomiya, for showing me the first step to becoming a normal teenage boy again.

Quatre: This was dark. Way darker than what I'm used to.

Yami Quatre: It was well done, though.

Yami Kenshin: Your opinion doesn't count. It's the opinion of the reviewers.

Quatre: Please review!